Sunday, June 12, 2011

Utilitarian or Vintage?

One of my pet hates is how we purchase appliances, tools and the like with the expectation that they will deteriorate and need to be replaced. How we can marry this designed obsolescence to the imperative to be environmentally sustainable seems an impossible mismatch. I found this drill (hand-powered) along with a fishing reel made by my grandfather. They raised some interesting questions for me. Firstly, when does an object lose it's utility and become a piece worthy of collection or being called "vintage"? Does it have value merely because it has nostalgic meaning for us or because we see some intrinsic currency in it's utilitarian past? While I'm no psychologist, I wonder if we relate to objects and forms which have a direct correlation to our childhood experiences or visual references. Put simply, does our past determine the collectibility of objects in the future?

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